QUESTION REGARDING LEVELING UP AND STAT INCREASES.

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So, the title probably isn't clear, but this is what I mean.

In Ara Fell, every time you level up, you gain a skill point. Presently, you can level up any attribute (strength, intelligence, etc) as much as you want, with the exception of Seri Kesu, whose magic pool maxes out at 999, which could be achieved after leveling her Magic stat 12 times.

Some of the feedback I've received from Ara Fell's beta suggests that people are inclined to just max the stats of what they think the characters are best at. Lita, a quick, high damage archer, encourages players to raise her AGI and ATK stats, and ignore the rest.

This isn't inherently a problem, but it does encourage players to build their characters in ways that are sub-optimal. I don't mind if players do build their characters this way, but I don't want them to be encouraged to build this way.

Every stat is useful for every character. Increasing your Magic pool causes you to regenerate more per turn, for example. All damaging abilities scale much more with INT than with ATK.

What I'd like to do is make a generalizable system so that you can only raise a stat so high as regulated by some level cap. For example, maybe if you're <= level 10, your ATK can only be raised a maximum of 5 times, and <= level 20, a max of 10 times, etc.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or thoughts on this. I'm not sure the best way of going about this from a design perspective.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13449
the main problem, i think, is that you're using 2k3 which greatly limits your ability to customize how these stats function. with how limited mp is, ATK already has a decent amount of viability over INT, even if it does make skills feel weird sometimes (noticing that most on Adrian, which we've talked about some).

if you don't want players to min/max, then don't give them the option or system to in the first place. i think you're just limited in what you can do with 2k3 and blockading the player from min/maxing with the level caps says "this is just more clicking to level up, because i demand you have this stat spread no matter what."

not sure why you took out the default leveling in the first place, to be honest... more menus doesn't make a game inherently better
> with how limited mp is, ATK already has a decent amount of viability over INT

I think this is strictly a scaling issue. If you give someone enough mana and INT, and have the scaling correct (and the regeneration rate, and the cost of skills, etc, etc), using abilities should be able to be as powerful as just attacking.

Does that mean INT should give you 20 per level and Lita's Holy Shot should only have 3 ATK scaling instead of 5? There are a ton of ways to tweak this. The idea is that raising INT will give you magic defense and ability power, whereas attack only makes your attacks stronger while giving a smaller amount of ability power.

The way these stats function isn't how I'd choose to do it if I could make the whole thing from scratch, but I think there's a way to make them work well enough with the rm2k3 default.

Incidentally, not sure if you've played/updated lately, but raising Mp now gives you 4, and could be raised even higher, which also increases the rate of regeneration. Hopefully that will help.

>if you don't want players to min/max, then don't give them the option or system to in the first place.

It's not that I care whether or not they min/max. I don't want them to feel encouraged to min/max.

>i think you're just limited in what you can do with 2k3 and blockading the player from min/maxing with the level caps says "this is just more clicking to level up, because i demand you have this stat spread no matter what."

Possibly, but this exists in other games. Seiken Densetsu 3 comes to mind. Also, that's a bit of an exaggeration. It's not that I want this or that stat spread. That's not the same as wanting a stat spread, which may or may not be a solution here. But like I said, SD3 does that, and I feel like it worked well.

There are other ways of doing this. For example, granting a number of skill points per level and making each increase more expensive, which would cause you to have to store up skill points sometimes (which you can't presently do in Ara Fell, but can be added easily) to raise the stat that you want.

>not sure why you took out the default leveling in the first place, to be honest... more menus doesn't make a game inherently better

You don't really think my reasoning behind this was "I wish I had more menus" I hope.

Several people, unprompted, brought up that the leveling system was boring, and this is my solution. I've always enjoyed being able to customize characters by spending points on stuff for level ups. As far as I can tell, the new system is fun, and I've gotten positive feedback on the change.

Is it that you just don't like the whole skill points when leveling up thing, or do you find it done poorly (outside of balance issues) in Ara Fell? Because I don't see any reason it's just inherently not viable.
author=Craze
if you don't want players to min/max, then don't give them the option or system to in the first place.


This is the simplest option. Don't give the player a choice to make bad stat builds.

author=BadLuck
This isn't inherently a problem, but it does encourage players to build their characters in ways that are sub-optimal. I don't mind if players do build their characters this way, but I don't want them to be encouraged to build this way.


Another option is reworking how the stats function so that the difference between sup-optimal and optimal is much smaller. Then the player can choose what they want without being punished.

author=BadLuck
Every stat is useful for every character. Increasing your Magic pool causes you to regenerate more per turn, for example. All damaging abilities scale much more with INT than with ATK.


Does the player know this? If players have a description of the stat benefits while choosing, they can make better choices.

author=BadLuck
What I'd like to do is make a generalizable system so that you can only raise a stat so high as regulated by some level cap. For example, maybe if you're <= level 10, your ATK can only be raised a maximum of 5 times, and <= level 20, a max of 10 times, etc.


This goes back to what Craze said. Why even give the player the choice if the game is going to force them into making the choices it wants?
>This is the simplest option. Don't give the player a choice to make bad stat builds.

Not the most fun option, though. If you're given freedom, you're going to be given freedom to do things badly. There are a lot of good choices (and probably just 1 optimal choice, though this isn't intentional).

Again, if you want to spec Lita with only ATK, that's fine, go for it. I just don't want the game to encourage you to do that.

>Another option is reworking how the stats function so that the difference between sup-optimal and optimal is much smaller

That's actually the intention. If you build only offensive stats and nothing defensive, and get blown up for being a glass cannon, but like that style of play, go for it.

>This goes back to what Craze said. Why even give the player the choice if the game is going to force them into making the choices it wants?

Are you saying that if you put any limitation on choice, then you shouldn't be given any choice at all?
author=BadLuck
Are you saying that if you put any limitation on choice, then you shouldn't be given any choice at all?

Not exactly. The difference is between limiting choices and removing an option entirely.

For example, "each increase is more expensive" vs "can only raise attack 5 times every 10 levels". The first option encourages diversity by having different optimal choices based on the situation, but the player can still save up everything for ATK. The second approach encourages diversity by removing the choice the player wants to make and forcing them to pick another.
I see this popping up here a lot. The aim for simplicity, and a few things like healing up after every fight which I personally never found attractive as a player.

Now all that said, I know many and I with certainty like putting a label on my character. That one's going to be my tank, that one's a physical fighter, that a mage. In games where I have the freedom I try to build a fairly safe offensive build when possible. I think having just a few different types of builds together is a natural thing to do, as well as the option of just going the same (in your opinion) effective route for everyone. If people go the former route, it is "easiest" and usually most appropriate to build on the strengths that are already there - so sticking to the idea or base-stats already gives a varied party you likely can build on.
I personally really like the idea of INT also improving your magic defense, because usually less powerful in dmg output, it makes for a nice safe route.

So you want to have player make a conscious decision of how their characters will pan out.

That first of all requires a good introduction/guideline of what increases what. If I know INT raises my magical defense as well, I will consider it a LOT more. Many games are really vague about their stats. No rates need to be named (altho there are certainly people who like to have it all laid out before them), just what they do. If I don't know attack affects magic rates too, I can't utilize it. And trying it out is a long process where you cannot get the points you spent back (usually).

Then the player needs to know the starting point is not affecting the direction they are going, or that stats are universal to use one way or another. This is a little bit difficult to introduce, but just having it there may help.

Do you have an overview of which stats you increased?


DDS. I love thee.

Having a visual representation of it for me personally encourages going your own route and planning ahead - it also shows when you are completely lacking in an area, but more importantly it already gives you a scope of future development - meaning that the few points you have extra in strength etc. will be inconsequential later.

And then it needs to have a significance in how battles play out. If you can't tell the difference between a moderately tanky / balanced fighter and a glass-cannon, or if you do not have to be constantly concerned about keeping your glass-cannon alive, then any encouragement to build your stats will wear off.

I'm no dev, this may or may not help, but I think just being aware of the options these stat increases offer will help the most to encourage people to use them.
The second most important thing for them to be used and planned into your progression is the need to actually utilize them. To see the effect. If you put no single point into defense, can you feel/tell the difference?
In the game above I went full offense first and then tagged on some more defense, because it really made a huge difference in survivability. And you could easily tell the difference between teammates and your main character. If I could have moved on smoothly without having to worry at all, I would have just kept to full offense.

The one upside of building your characters is that you can do it yourself, and that you can go for playstyles that feel different. There are many games where it is physical vs magical, but even then it's still just about dishing out dmg. Both work. But they feel inherently different due to the attacks / spells used, and protecting a glass cannon vs. building slow offensive surviving machines is a different mindset in-fight. And diversity in mindsets is a good thing, a great one.

I love being able to plan my characters according to such scales. I think just adjusting your main character while the others level up automatically works even better to give extra thoughts to what you want to add to the team.
I like having the option. And I love it when it is done well.

author=Ramshackin
author=BadLuck
Are you saying that if you put any limitation on choice, then you shouldn't be given any choice at all?
Not exactly. The difference is between limiting choices and removing an option entirely.

For example, "each increase is more expensive" vs "can only raise attack 5 times every 10 levels". The first option encourages diversity by having different optimal choices based on the situation, but the player can still save up everything for ATK. The second approach encourages diversity by removing the choice the player wants to make and forcing them to pick another.


I think this a very good approach (a great one for spell learning systems, too). Limiting it per level seems very forced.
If you do this for stats, I imagine it would be hard to balance out (as atk also increases magical dmg to lesser degree), so focusing on one would never be a good option. The stat progression seems to be done via level-up, so you would then need to save points to progress, or you would have a less elegant method of gaining x points instead of just choosing the upgrade of your choice. (I just saw that in the trailer tho, so not sure how it works)

JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
7121
As for "Seiken Densetsu 3 did it" it did and it was flawed, it didn't work out and I didn't feel good with the system.
The limiting per level does feel more like a last second workaround / band aid than an actual part of the system. I do like the direction you're going though.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13449
the problem is that it's not really adding anything. of course you want mp and magic on seri kesu. wouldn't she have received that anyway? it's just a menu replacing the stats they'd get on level-up anyway. it seems like a lot of work that adds... nothing except more clicks. if there were passive abilities or trade-off choices or something like that (see Transistor) it'd be more interesting, but right now it's a weird response to people not liking the leveling system. in your place, i woulda just told them that it's a necessary evil given the tight limitations of the creation engine

then again i think leveling in games is pointless and that exp is a worthless system so who am i to talk

also my comment on atk is that it has a place instead of just raising int -- i am fine with both stats' implementation =P it's probably not a big deal anyway, though, given how you can respec at inns or tali if you really want to try doren with 500 defense or something
>For example, "each increase is more expensive" vs "can only raise attack 5 times every 10 levels". The first option encourages diversity by having different optimal choices based on the situation, but the player can still save up everything for ATK.

But increasing the cost per increase effectively does the same thing. You'll level up and still have to choose between picking something else to level or just conserving the skill point. Either way, you're being forced to do something at certain points. I don't see why that's different. I might be argued into agreeing that the increased skill point thing is better, because it won't feel like you're arbitrarily being forced into a decision, except that it still functions the same way practically.

As a player, I'd rather always have something to do at a level up than pick between saving some points or or spending them on something else.

In this way, I preferred SD3's system.

>As for "Seiken Densetsu 3 did it" it did and it was flawed, it didn't work out and I didn't feel good with the system.

That's fair, but again, practically, it works the same way. Either way, you're forcing people to either save their points or spread them around. What's the difference between waiting for 3 levels to save up enough skill points to raise ATK again and having an hard limit on it?

As far as how the game actually plays out, not much.

Maybe it just feels that way because the caps feel arbitrary, and if that's what it is, then that's what it is. But it does create levels where you don't do anything when you level up, which is something I really don't like.

>then again i think leveling in games is pointless and that exp is a worthless system so who am i to talk


Ah, well, it does color your opinion on the topic slightly. haha
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